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Mark Leffingwell / Daily Camera
Already committed to CSU, Legacy quarterback Matt Lynch is focused on taking the Lightning deep into the Class 5A playoffs

Sure, he raised a few eyebrows when he won the job as the Legacy starter last season as a sophomore. But his work on the field, and especially over the summer, has not only elevated Lynch to not just another player, but a captain of a Lightning squad that has visions of something very special in 2014.

“The kids are kind of looking to him to lead the junior class as a whole and the good thing is that he is going to be that liaison with the younger kids as well,” said Legacy coach Wayne Voorhees, who enters his 12th season at the helm. “And make sure that we are all on the same page and we are getting better and we have the right priorities as we go week by week.”

It was a summer to remember for Lynch. It started in June, when after attending the Colorado State summer passing camp, he caught the eye of Rams coach Jim McElwain and less than a week later gave his verbal commitment to him.

“It’s a big weight off my shoulders. It’s a feeling that I can go out and play with my friends and my teammates instead of trying to impress this coach or that coach,” said Lynch, whose parents both went to CSU. “So I’ll just be able to flow and do my thing and have some fun out there.”

Then in July and into August, Lynch guided the Lightning to a victory in the Denver Broncos 7-on-7 football tournament and helped his team earn a trip to the national tournament at the Colts’ facility in Indianapolis.

“It was a good thing for our team and it really brought us together having the chance to go out to Indianapolis and compete against some of the best teams in the country,” said Lynch, who threw for over 1,200 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. “That will help us a ton this season.”

Said Voorhees of Lynch’s experience: “His accuracy has gotten a lot better. And he is just getting physically bigger and stronger. He has probably grown three or four inches since football ended last season, put on a lot of muscle and his mental game — he is doing a lot better job with his reads. His game as a whole has progressed, so we are looking forward to seeing how he plays.”

At 6-foot-4 and and 190 pounds, Lynch has the ability to see the field very well and has a strong and accurate arm to boot. He has a bevy of big targets to throw to including Dalton Royer (6-4), Kai Ahamdu (6-4), Derek Coleman (6-5) and Logan Paulson (6-3). Take away the big guys and there is speed to burn as well in running back KJ Robinson and wideouts Hayden Anderson and Jack Ruscher.

Lynch isn’t immune to the thought that he has room to grow in his final two seasons at Legacy. With a majority of the tools to play quarterback already at his disposal, it is the little things he needs to work on to prove he is ready to be a Division I player.

“Just being able to make those reads and be able to check to the right play that the defense presents,” he said.

And for Voorhees a majority of those leaders are juniors like Lynch.

“The biggest thing is that we have to put it all together,” Voorhees said. “We simplified some things, so hopefully we can get our kids so they understand what is going on and the big picture doesn’t have to be too complex.”

Gone are the distractions of a troubled 2013 season that ended with a 4-6 record and several players losing time due to suspensions. A renewed focus on not just reaching the playoffs, but having a successful run — just like last year’s 7-on-7 champs from Fairview that took that momentum all the way to the Class 5A title game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

“From last year to this year has been a complete 180 to this team,” Lynch said, “And we are looking good.”

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